The best scientific books about cat behaviour, which should be read by vets, vet nurses, and behaviourists

Who am I?

I am a writer and journalist who went back to study cats after my retirement. I realized I didn’t know as much as I thought I knew. I was out of date and overconfident that experience could beat knowledge. I needed knowledge as well as experience. So I took a degree and a masters. These books will help anybody who wants to improve their knowledge of cats. Rescuers, pet owners, and behaviour people: we need to stay up to date and learn more if we want to help cats lead happy lives.


I wrote...

A Cat's Guide to Humans: From A to Z

By Celia Haddon, George the Cat,

Book cover of A Cat's Guide to Humans: From A to Z

What is my book about?

George reveals the truth about what cats think about humans – and it’s not all good news for humans! Don’t let your cat read this book. It might get ideas on how to manage and control you better. It is full of tips about training humans. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Cat Sense: The Feline Enigma Revealed

Why did I love this book?

I thought I knew a lot about cats until I realized I didn’t. I needed to get up to date with what science tells us about cats. So I recommend Cat Sense because it is the easiest read of all the books about cats that are based on good science. If you work in the veterinary, rescue, or behaviour field this is a good basic text for anybody without much time for reading. It is firmly based on what we know from science about cat welfare and behaviour. Read this and the cats in your care will benefit enormously.

By John Bradshaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cat Sense as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cats have been popular household pets for thousands of years, and their numbers only continue to rise. Today there are three cats for every dog on the planet, and yet cats remain more mysterious, even to their most adoring owners. Unlike dogs, cats evolved as solitary hunters, and, while many have learned to live alongside humans and even feel affection for us, they still don't quite get us" the way dogs do, and perhaps they never will. But cats have rich emotional lives that we need to respect and understand if they are to thrive in our company. In Cat…


Book cover of Practical Feline Behaviour: Understanding Cat Behaviour and Improving Welfare

Why did I love this book?

Cats often don’t get enough space in books about pet behaviour. This is the easiest-to-read scientific book about cats that you will ever need. Students, make sure it is in your university library. It cuts the information into easy chunks and yet keeps all the references that you might need to follow up. Trudi is a top cat behaviourist in the UK with a background as a veterinary nurse, so she really, really understands what makes cats tick.

By Trudi Atkinson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Practical Feline Behaviour as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Practical Feline Behaviour contains all the relevant information that a veterinary nurse or technician needs to understand and handle the behaviour and welfare of house cats, and to offer safe and practical advice to clients. There have been ground-breaking advances in our understanding of feline behaviour in recent years and, to protect the welfare of cats, it is increasingly important that anyone involved with their care, especially those in a professional capacity, keep up to date with these developments. This approachable and down-to-earth text describes the internal and external influences on feline behaviour; on communication, learning, social behaviour, the relationship…


Book cover of Feline Stress and Health: Managing Negative Emotions to Improve Feline Health and Wellbeing

Why did I love this book?

Cats can be very stressed and unhappy without cat rescuers knowing it. This book will help you be a better rescuer. Cats don’t always show their emotions in a way that we can see. This is a serious book from International Cat Care, the best website for cat rescuers.  If you have a passion for rescuing cats, read it. Many cat rescuers need their knowledge updated and this is a good book.

By Sarah Ellis (editor), Andrew Sparkes (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Feline Stress and Health as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide to Making Life Happier for You and Your Cat

Why did I love this book?

Yes, cats can be trained. Training your cat is fun for you and it is fun for your cat. This is the best training manual you can ever buy and it also tells you a lot about cats. Have a go. You won’t regret it! I train my cats, even though I am a very amateur trainer, as you can see from my YouTube channel! They purr while they do it. 

By Sarah Ellis, John Bradshaw,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Trainable Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The idea of training rarely crosses cat owners' minds, and we often assume that cats can't and don't need to be trained. But in The Trainable Cat, bestselling anthrozoologist John Bradshaw and cat expert Sarah Ellis show that not only can cats be trained, but they absolutely must be in order to strengthen the bond between pet and owner, reduce their anxiety, and maximize their happiness. Twenty-first-century urban life can be taxing for cats who historically have been wild and solitary hunters, hostile to change and turmoil. Cats today are forced to live within the confines of cramped city apartments,…


Stress and Pheromonatherapy in Small Animal Clinical Behaviour

By Daniel S. Mills, Maya Braem Dube, Helen Zulch

Book cover of Stress and Pheromonatherapy in Small Animal Clinical Behaviour

Why did I love this book?

I have chosen this book about dogs and cats, simply because the cat chapters are so good. It is sad that many animal behaviour experts concentrate on dogs and think they can use the same methods for cats. If you are studying animal behaviour with a view to becoming a behaviourist, this is worth reading for its cat chapters. The dog's ones are good too.

By Daniel S. Mills, Maya Braem Dube, Helen Zulch

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stress and Pheromonatherapy in Small Animal Clinical Behaviour as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stress and Pheromonatherapy in Small Animal Clinical Behaviour is about how stress impacts on animal behaviour and welfare and what we can do about it, especially by using chemical signals more effectively. This readily accessible text starts from first principles and is useful to both academics and practitioners alike. It offers a framework for understanding how pheromonatherapy can be used to encourage desirable behaviour in dogs and cats and also a fresh approach to understanding the nature of clinical animal behaviour problems. The authors have pioneered the use of pheromone therapy within the field of clinical animal behaviour. As the…


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